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Moral and Religious Influences - Can Killing Be Morally Right?

death penalty life person

Although the trend worldwide in the last decades of the twentieth century was to abolish the death penalty in numerous countries, the debate still raged in the United States. Every execution commonly drew protestors opposing capital punishment outside the prison walls. Those in favor of the death penalty believe in retribution, claiming a person who has taken another person's life or performed some other terrible crime does not deserve to have a life. They also claim the death penalty poses a much greater deterrence to violent crime than life sentences without the possibility of parole. Additionally, even if incarcerated, some inmates kill again within the prison facility.

Opponents of the death penalty most frequently cite moral and religious reasons for not taking a person's life. For example, the Catholic Church constantly promotes the protection of life, not only in opposing the death penalty, but on other issues such as abortion. The church and some other religions state that the death penalty is contrary to the sacredness of life. Society, they say, should focus on forgiveness, redemption, and reconciliation of the victim and society. Ultimate justice, they say, is with God.

Opponents of the death penalty also believe mistakes are made in the criminal justice system. The prospect of executing an innocent person, no matter how infrequent, is too much of a risk. Death cannot be reversed like other penalties. They believe life in prison keeps the person from committing other crimes. It is obvious debate over the death penalty will continue well into the twenty-first century.

Moral and Religious Influences - Deciding Who Dies [next] [back] Moral and Religious Influences - Deciding On Capital Crimes

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